Boomerang at Bluesfest
Indigenous artists from around the world will gather in the Northern NSW coastal town of Byron Bay next month as part of Bluesfest‘s Boomerang Festival. Held over the Easter long weekend at the beautiful 120 hectare Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm just north of Byron, Boomerang, which is programmed by and with a First Nation’s perspective, encompasses the arts, workshops, music and authentic cultural exchanges between indigenous and non-indigenous people.
“The Boomerang festival is a glimpse into this wonderful culture that exists all around us, and as Australians, within us, even if we consciously are not aware of that,” Bluesfest Director Peter Noble OAM explains. “Rhoda Roberts is its creative director, and I am her proud logistical partner. Bluesfest is Boomerang’s current home, and one day it will be a standalone festival. In these days of zero support from our Government Arts organisations, we have had to dig deep this year to maintain the festival’s continuance. However, just as our original Australians have survived, overcome adversity and flourish, so too will The Boomerang Festival.”
Here, the people at Bluesfest describe four of the latest artists to join this year’s Boomerang Festival line-up.
In 1997, Tenzin Choegyal came to Australia with little more than a bag, his Dranyen and a voice full of passion for Tibet. His raw talent soon caught the attention of the directors of that country’s largest folk festival, Woodford Folk Festival where he still plays to packed audiences each year.
Over the years, Tenzin has created a successful international career as a musician, playing at such prestigious events as the WOMAD festivals as well as several Concerts for Tibet at Carnegie Hall, New York. At Boomerang Precinct, Tenzin will also share his knowledge in Mantra singing – energy-based sounds which produce vibrations within the universe – was revered as a powerful tool for meditation. The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words – man meaning mind and tra meaning “to protect or to free from”.
Leonard Sumner’s storytelling flows directly from the shores of Little Saskatchewan First Nation, located in the heart of the Interlake of Manitoba. Sumner’s self-determined sound is evidence of his ability to simultaneously occupy landscapes of multiple musical genres including; Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Country, and Rhythm and Blues.
With every vibration of the strings on his guitar, Leonard rattles the dust off truths that have been buried for far too long. On stage he poetically sings awake the consciousness of audiences may have been unaware of their slumber.
Indigenous Australian artist Yirrmal Marika, from North-East Arnhem Land, has made a refreshing entrance into the music scene. Inspired by his Grandfather, Dr Yunupingu, former lead singer of Yothu Yindi, he fuses tradition and contemporary with class and passion. Yirrmal is an inspiring songwriter and guitarist with a beautiful voice, singing songs about his homeland and culture with feeling and depth beyond his years.
Drawing from two very different worlds to make music and tell stories about contemporary life with an ageless perspective, Emily Wurramara is driven by passion for culture and heritage. With national airplay on ABC and Triple J, Emily has become a seasoned performer who has taken her music around the country and abroad with shows in Sweden and France, as well as appearances at major Festivals across Australia, including: Gaarma Festival, Island Vibes, and Woodford Folk Festival. Add in a couple of 2016 Queensland Music Award nominations and Triple Unearthed showcase at Big Sound and the picture starts to build of a young artist with a very bright tomorrow.
For Boomerang Festival tickets and program information, visit www.boomerangfestival.com.au